WTVC Exclusive: Bitchin’ Kitchen’s Nadia G

On March 31, 2010 The Fine Living Network officially became the Cooking Channel (aka Food Network 2).  The network features new shows from old favorites like Bobby Flay and Emeril Legasse.  It also presents a whole new crew of TV Chefs to entertain and educate our insatiable palates.

Nadia G of Bitchin' KitchenThe bell cow of the Cooking Channel’s fall season is the craziest damned cooking show you’ve ever seen, Btichin’ Kitchen which blends equal parts Good Eats, Headbanger’s Ball and Lords of Flatbush. At the center of this tempest of audio-visual overload is Nadia G.

Nadia’s on screen persona is an amalgamation of Alton Brown, Julia Child and Pinky Tuscadero (Google it, ya mook).  And while her style is in the forefront do not for a minute think that Nadia cannot cook.  She mastered her skills at one of the most demanding culinary institutions on the planet, an Italian grandmother’s kitchen.

And though the glitz and glamor on BK may be part of the show I can assure you the accent is real.  Nadia and her show started out on youtube and eventually steamed rolled into a series for Food Network Canada where it became an instant sensation.  Nadia is a native of Montreal and her brash Italian mannerisms and deft abilities in the kitchen soon made her a house hold name throughout the Great White North.  Check out this blurb from the Food Network Canada web site:

She’s young, funny and can cook up a storm in 3-inch cherry stiletto heels. Food Network’s bad girl chef Nadia G. and her misfit crew of food correspondents look at the funny side of everyday life situations and turn them into occasions worth celebrating — with great food and big laughs. Bitchin’ Kitchen is the first-ever comedy cooking show to hit the small screen and it tastes good: From One-Night-Stand Breakfasts to Break-Up Brunches to Impress the In-laws Extravaganzas, Nadia G whips up the perfect blend of food and humor for any occasion. The focus is on accessible haute cuisine, fresh organic ingredients, and a hands-on approach that will inspire hip audiences of all ages to Rock the Kitchen!

Recently Nadia was nice enough to give this old Southern boy a little of her time.

Say someone asks me what’s this Bitchin’ Kitchen all about? What should I tell them?

There’s three things in life that I love and that’s food, comedy and rock-n-roll.  And Bitchin’ Kitchen combines all three.  It’s my baby like that.  Basically what we do is every week we take a new juicy topic whether it’s rehab recipes, impressing the in-laws or break-up brunches, we lay it all on the table and have a few laughs and then we cook an amazing meal that goes along with it.

What advice would you give someone who is about to experience BK for the first time?

I would say get ready for an awesome ride.  There’s definitely no other cooking show out there like it and sit back, relax and enjoy.

How did Bitchin’ Kitchen go from the Internet to the Cooking Channel?

Well we started online back in 2007 it was a great success fresh out the gate.  We won favorite mobile comedy series and we beat Conan O’Brien’s mobile series and “Tap This” which is another mobile comedy series which is written by one of the writers of the Ali G (no relation) Show.  We were super honored to be you know contending with such hard hitters and then of course to have taken the prize home was awesome.  After that success we got contacted by some publishers and they were like, “We love this concept and we want to do a cookbook.”

Bitchin' Kitchen CookbookSo I designed and wrote the Bitchin’ Kitchen Cookbook: Rock Your Kitchen-And Let the Boys Clean Up the Mess (available at amazon.com) and that cookbook did very well. It hit a couple of “best seller” lists.  And then finally now we had our launch on Food Network Canada and now we’re launching on Cooking Channel I couldn’t be more excited.  It’s great.

Was it difficult transitioning from the 10 minute Youtube format to the 23 minute format of broadcast TV?

You know, initially we thought there’d be some challenges but honestly it translated really, really well.  Basically it just gave us more creative room.  With the quickies (the mobile series and web show) we would get things done in about three to five minutes which only gives us time for one recipe whereas with the cooking show we got a whole half hour.  So we cook up three dishes for each show and it gives us extra time to do funny stuff like skits and songs. . . We’re actually airing the first music video to ever air on a cooking show in our “rehab recipes” show so it was exciting to just expand on the themes like that.

Are you still filming the show in Montreal?

Yeah, we film the show in Montreal.  We do spend a lot of time in New York and Los Angeles as well and I love it but the studios are in Montreal.

About your set – there is a lot of weird crap in the background of your kitchen – what’s up with that?

I’m a big believer that the kitchen should reflect one’s personality.  The kitchen reflects mine.  We got some really hot, cherry red retro looking frig, I think we’ve got the coolest appliances ever.  We’ve got some crystal studding going on on the counter, basically we love to rock the kitchen.  Some people are into granite and stainless steel and that’s great but for those of us that aren’t I love to find quirky fun stuff like a chain mail dish towel and put it in my kitchen.  It’s just great to express yourself with.

What’s your culinary background?

I grew up in a food-obsessed Italian family.  The kitchen was really the heart of the home.  I learned to cook with my mom, my grandmother, my aunt and I really believe that anyone can learn to make a great meal with the right attitude and the right ingredients.  So as much as I love food from professional chefs and I love to go to restaurants I also know that some of the best food I’ve ever eaten have been home cooked meals.  And I continue to cook Catalina-style Italian food.

If someone wanted to cyber-stalk you where should they go?

All my recipes are available on CookingChannel.com and my website is BitchinKitchen.tv where we have a ton of great, funny articles.  If people want to know what it was I was wearing during the episode we got these great little “rock this look” fashion files.  And you can also find us on Facebook where ever day we have awesome conversations about all kinds of bitchin’ stuff.

Butter or margarine? Definitely butter.
Favorite celebrity chef? Alton Brown.
Which Jersey Shore cast member would you most like to kick? Hmm. None of them really.  Feed them maybe but kick them not so much.
What’s sexier – abs or attitude? I’d have to say attitude.
Foie gras, raw oysters or caviar? That’s a tough one.  I’m gonna go with oysters.

Bitchin’ Kitchen airs on the Cooking Channel Wednesdays at 10:30pm ET.

Review: Bitchin’ Kitchen

Thanks to my lofty position as the most famous nobody in the world of Internet-based culinary personalities I occasionally get to see a new series before the average Joe.  That is the case here.

For nearly a dozen years now Good Eats has been entertaining while teaching about the art of gastronomy.  Alton Brown’s brainchild is as iconic today as it was groundbreaking back in 1999.  In all of that time GE has remained an island in the sea of stand-and-stir cooking shows, in a word unique.  But if you are successful enough, long enough eventually you see some imitators.

Nadia G of Bitchin' KitchenEnter Bitchin’ Kitchen.  The Cooking Channel’s latest offering is the first Good Eats imitation to hit the airwaves.  You know, imitation isn’t the right word.  BK doesn’t imitate as much as it pays homage.  Bitchin’ Kitchen and host Nadia G are definitely originals but there is a noticeable Good Eats influence.  It’s kind of like how Guns N Roses was influenced by Led Zeppelin, but the two bands sound nothing a like.

Bitchin’ Kitchen is a whirlwind of campy characters swirling in a maelstrom of culinary comedy.  There is Panos the Greek fish monger, Spice Agent – an Islreali with an unpronounceable name and Hans the musclebound whatever the hell he is.  Together they are the boys.

And of course there is host Nadia G a brazen guidette with enough bling to be a Mr. T stunt double and the chops of a 3 star chef.  Nadia is a blonde bombshell with a thick Brooklynish accent that will make you think she is an extra from Grease.

To say that BK is ripe with sexual innuendo is like saying Angelina Jolie likes kids.  The racy content is so thinly veiled it’s like they wrapped it in a single layer of cellophane and then they ripped a few wholes in that.  Let’s face it, Nadia and her boys are all sexy.  Rather than going with subtle hottness like Giada or Nigella, Nadia opts for the in your face sex appeal of a punk rocker.  She weaves fetish into her show as masterfully as she folds egg whites into a mousse.

Everything about this show is over the top – the characters, the dialog, the set design, even the wacky recipe names (Get Famous Frittata, Anxiety-Stricken Chicken Soup).  In fact it’s so tacky that it’s cool. And the best part is that all of this started out as a 10 minute webcast on youtube.  It’s high time the folks at Chelsea Market realized that the Internet is the best place to find up and coming talent (and if Bob Tuschman is reading this please feel free to check out the WannabeTVchef channel at youtube – I could really use the job).

The end result of this furious ball of energy is a show that is both entertaining and informative.  There is so much going on that often times you won’t realize how much you’ve learned until later.  The entire time you watch an episode of of Bitchin’ Kitchen you’ll be dazzled by bright colors and torrents of information disguised as witty banter.  It’s kind of like what would happen if Tony Soprano, Julia Child and Barbie dropped acid while online for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Like it’s predecessor Good Eats, Bitchin Kitchen never takes itself too seriously.  In the annals of cable TV there has always been that one show that put each new network on the map.  For Bravo it was Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Emeril Live was that show for the Food Network and let’s be honest if it wasn’t for Steve Irwin hunting those crocodiles Animal Planet would be but a footnote in the history of alternative cable programming.  It is my prediction that Bitchin’ Kitchen will be that show for The Cooking Channel.

Bitchin’ Kitchen premieres Wednesday, October 6 at 10:30pm ET/PT on the Cooking Channel.  Click HERE for my exclusive interview with Nadia G.  In the meantime here’s a little taste of what you’re in for:

Review: Burger King Ribs

I was, to put it mildly, apprehensive when I saw a commercial for Burger King’s new “Fire Grilled Ribs.”  I have survived the McRib, Hardee’s Fried Chicken, Popeye’s Chicken Pita, KFC’s Double Down, Taco Bell’s BLT Taco and the results of the “King’s” other atrocities from the Kitchen of Dr. Moreau, Chicken Fries and those infamous BK Tacos (a kid burger inside a half-cooked taco shell).

Burger King Ribs on WannabeTVchef.comLast week, whilst in the throws of moving from my apartment to my new house, I decided I would give the BK Ribs a try.  I was hungry so I opted for the 8 piece combo over the 6 piece.  With tax I dropped $10 and with the service I also lost 30 minutes of my life waiting for the only other person in the drive-thru to get their Whopper Jr. combo meal.

Now clearly I was not expecting pork ribs to be healthy.  It’s called a splurge.  So once I was able to track down the carefully hidden nutritional information I was not surprised by the 12g of saturated fat (6 piece portion) nor the 66% of calories from fat.

Jack Links Steak Bites on WannabeTVchef.comHowever, I was surprised to find that though they looked a good deal like pork ribs they did not taste like pork ribs.  The texture was quite off-putting.  It was somewhere between a dry rib and those beef jerky steak bites.  They were gnaw off the bone tender.  They certainly were not smoked but rather roasted with a touch of liquid smoke and brown sugar but no detectable spices or rub.  They come dry (which has two different meanings in the case) with BBQ sauce dipping cups on the side.  Use as much sauce as possible as it is the only thing that makes these palatable.

It isn’t bad enough that these fast food ribs taste like, well fast food ribs, but they cost as much a REAL ribs.  I live in Alabama, there is no shortage of great barbecue and if I am going to plop down $10 for ribs I want great ribs.  But what should I expect from a company that professes to let you “have it your way” but that has never been the case.

I once walked into a Burger King and ordered a Whopper made my way, “Fresh ground grass-fed beef, a whole wheat bun free of High Fructose Corn Syrup and hydrogenated oil, vegetables that were allowed to fully ripen on the vine at a farm within 150 miles and REAL cheddar cheese.”  They looked at me like I had asked them to fix me something that wasn’t poisonous.

Have your tried BK Ribs?  Culinary revolution or porcine abomination?  Use the comments below to tell the world what you thought of them.

Burger King Ribs

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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